In a not so distant future robots are doing… something bad. Enter P. Walter Tugnut. The game opens with robots destroying his truck and dry humping his RV. Needless to say he is not happy.
This leads straight into what the game advertises: Shooting Robots… many of them.
Unfortunately that’s all it leads to. There’s very little, if any, story but beneath the side scrolling shooting lies a rather thin layer of RPG. As you progress through each mission you will earn experience and nuts. These nuts work as the currency to purchase weapons and armour. Before you purchase equipment you must be the right level and you must also have located the coupon for the weapon or armour by either finding boxes that are littered through each map or as a rare drop from any of the robots you gun down on your adventure. Whatever you equip will make both a numerical change and also make a change to your appearance. This is where Shoot Many Robots really shines. No matter what you wear you will find it hard to not look ridiculous and that really sets the tone for the game. This isn’t a serious RPG, this is a game that you can easily jump in and out of if you want a laugh with your friends.
The game gets extremely repetitive fast. Missions are very stop/start in the way they flow; one minute you’ll be scrolling along and then you’ll have to fight off waves of robots while you wait for the next area to be opened up. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if the game didn’t stop every five seconds. Fortunately there is enough variety in the waves of robots that fighting them is not too much of a chore. The game introduces new enemies fairly fast and within the first few levels you are already seeing a few different varieties of robots. Like other games in this vain you have the “trash” that doesn’t seem to do much of anything, armoured robots that have a particular weak point, robots that fire red projectiles that you can deflect back at them and finally robots that fire projectiles that you can shoot down. For a while I thought that was all but then it started throwing suicide robots of doom at me!
Each area has a handful of missions and as you get to the end of each area you have to fight various bosses. Boss fights are generally just a simple case of “don’t stand in the fire” with the occasional group of adds but this does very little to break the monotony of the stop/start nature of the game. Once you complete an area you aren’t guaranteed to unlock the next area of missions as you must unlock enough stars to proceed on your journey, sound familiar?
There are three difficulties ( Normal, Hard and Insane) that can be unlocked once you have earned enough stars. This doesn’t help with the monotony of the game as there isn’t any way to change the difficulty without unlocking it first so most gamers will end up breezing past a fair chunk of the content without feeling any sort of challenge. This also means that when you finally get to the difficulty level that you find challenging you’ve already seen all of the content that the game has to offer.
Despite the flow of Shoot Many Robots feeling very monotonous the game does extremely well at being what it is: a competitive multiplayer side-scrolling shooter. There is enough variety in the hordes of robots that you will face that fighting them doesn’t get boring and over time they get stronger to ensure that out-gearing the content you are facing isn’t something too easy to accomplish. When playing online you are fighting for a unified goal but who does it best? Shoot Many Robots will have you shooting many robots for quite a while as it’s surprisingly addictive, especially when you have a group of friends eager to help you turn those robots to scrap!